AUTHOR AND TITLE

The first two verses of 2 Timothy clearly present the author as Paul and the recipient as Timothy. As with 1 Timothy and Titus (the other two “Pastoral Epistles”), the authorship of 2 Timothy has been challenged in the past 200 years. The challenges to Pauline authorship are the same as those leveled against 1 Timothy (see Introduction to 1 Timothy: Author and Title). However, a number of the scholars who deny Pauline authorship of 1 Timothy and Titus still affirm Pauline authorship of 2 Timothy. The arguments for the authenticity of 1 Timothy apply to 2 Timothy as well, providing a good basis for affirming the straightforward claims of 2 Timothy (and of 1 Timothy and Titus) to be authentic letters written by Paul.

DATE

The letter pictures Paul in prison in Rome, awaiting death. Most likely, then, this letter was written during Paul’s second Roman imprisonment (later than the imprisonment recorded in Acts 28). Therefore this letter would have been written after 1 Timothy and Titus. Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 2.25; 3.1) claims that Paul was martyred sometime during Nero’s reign (which ended in a.d. 68, but intense persecution began in 64). Since Paul wrote 2 Timothy shortly before his death, it was probably written in a.d. 64–65, though some would place it as late as 67.

THEME

Second Timothy is a bold, clear call for perseverance in the gospel in spite of suffering. Paul calls on his young coworker to continue the fight of faith, even as Paul approaches the end of his own life.

PURPOSE, OCCASION, AND BACKGROUND

Paul wrote this letter while in prison in Rome. He mentions that several have abandoned him in this difficult time, and several others are away on duties (1:15; 4:9–12). In such a time Paul’s recollection of the sincerity and devotion of Timothy is especially poignant (1:3–5). Paul anticipates death soon (4:6–8). Therefore he writes a final exhortation to Timothy to urge him to stand firm and to ask him to come for one final visit before Paul is executed.

Though death is imminent, the timing is uncertain, so Paul also asks Timothy to bring his books and parchments with him. Presumably Paul intends to keep studying and writing until the end.

Second Timothy is very personal, as would be expected in a final letter to a close friend and coworker. Paul exhorts Timothy to continue in faithfulness and points to his own life as an example for Timothy to follow. What he calls on Timothy to do, he himself has done already.

HISTORY OF SALVATION SUMMARY

Christians must live on the basis of Christ’s salvation, looking forward to his second coming. (For an explanation of the “History of Salvation,” see the Overview of the Bible.)

LITERARY FEATURES

The genre of 2 Timothy is at least similar to the farewell discourse, and many would classify it as such. There are famous farewell discourses in the Bible—e.g., by Moses (the book of Deuteronomy), Joshua (Joshua 23–24), David (1 Chronicles 28–29), and Jesus (the Upper Room Discourse, John 14–16). Conventional motifs include the speaker’s announcement of his imminent departure, directives to keep God’s commandments, predictions of what will happen after the speaker’s departure, words of comfort and instruction for the benefit of those who will survive the speaker, and appeals to the addressees to remember what the speaker has taught. If 2 Timothy, Paul’s last letter, is read with these features in mind, the book will fall neatly into place. Paul’s charges to Timothy in this letter are not limited to a specific situation (as 1 Timothy was) but are what Paul most wants Timothy to heed for the rest of his life and ministry—the last word from a spiritual father. The reader is led to share Paul’s reflective mood as he looks back over past experiences.

TIMELINE

Timeline

THE SETTING OF 2 TIMOTHY

c. a.d. 64–67

Paul likely wrote 2 Timothy during a second imprisonment in Rome following a fourth missionary journey which is not recorded in the book of Acts. Expecting that death would come soon, Paul wrote this “farewell” letter to Timothy, who was at Ephesus, urging him to stand firm and asking him to come for one final visit.

The Setting of 2 Timothy

OUTLINE

  1. Opening (1:1–2)
  2. Exhortation to Endurance for the Gospel (1:3–2:13)
  3. Thanksgiving for Timothy’s sincere faith (1:3–5)
  4. A call to bold endurance in ministry, part 1 (1:6–14)
  5. Examples, positive and negative (1:15–18)
  6. A call to bold endurance in ministry, part 2 (2:1–13)
  7. Dealing with False Teachers (2:14–3:9)
  8. Timothy in contrast to the false teachers (2:14–26)
  9. Description of the false teachers (3:1–9)
  10. Exhortation to Timothy in Contrast to False Teachers (3:10–4:8)
  11. Call to hold fast to Scripture and Paul’s example (3:10–17)
  12. The ultimate charge (4:1–8)
  13. Conclusion (4:9–22)

KEY THEMES

1. Suffering is a standard part of Christian experience.1:8, 12; 2:3, 9; 3:11–12; 4:5, 14–18
2. The Christian response to suffering is faithful perseverance by God’s power.1:8; 2:1, 11–13; 4:1–8
3. The gospel is the ground for the Christian’s endurance.1:9–11; 2:8–10
4. The Scriptures have power to save and preserve.2:15; 3:15–17; 4:1–2
5. True believers will persevere; failure to persevere proves one is not converted.2:11–13, 19; 3:14; 4:7, 10
6. False teaching is deadly and must be dealt with firmly.2:16–18, 23–26; 3:1–9; 4:3–5

THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TIMOTHY

CHAPTER 1

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

CHAPTER 2

1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.

7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

9 Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

CHAPTER 3

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

CHAPTER 4

1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

9 Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:

10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.

12 And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus.

13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:

15 Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words.

16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

18 And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

19 Salute Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus.

20 Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.

21 Do thy diligence to come before winter. Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and all the brethren.

22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

¶ The second epistle unto Timotheus, ordained the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second time.


INSPIRED WORD OF GOD

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. – 2Timothy 3:16(KJV)
All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God. The word Inspiration can be rendered as God blowing or God puffing. Where God breath refers to the original autograph of God which is original manuscripts, not translations of Bible as very translations lose their accuracy so it’s wise to refer manuscript at study. All Scriptures were spoken by Godly men who were supernaturally influenced by God.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. – 2Peter 1:21(KJV)
Peter speaks to the holy men who spoke as they were moved by Holy Spirit. Even David was aware of his own tongue’s speaking words of the Holy Spirit,
The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. – 2 Samuel 23:2(KJV)
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. – Jeremiah 30:1(KJV)
Jeremiah was given audible instruction and told to produce those precise words.
Jeremiah 26:2 (KJV) Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word, as was Isaiah 6:8-10.
Institute for Creation Research claims there are 2600 claims in the Old Testament for direct inspiration from the text of Scripture.
Exodus 31:18 & 34:1(KJV) And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
were not only insured but also inscribed!
Jesus claims to speak only what God the Father instructed Him to say,
John 12:46-50(KJV)
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Paul knew he was given revelation,
Ephesians 3:3-4(KJV)
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
and insisted on equivalent standing with God’s commands
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Peter demanded remembrance of the apostles’ teachings
2Peter 3:1-4,15-16(KJV)
1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
John insisted on the accuracy of what he shared
1 John 1:1-3(KJV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Jude verified the words of the other apostles
Jude 1:3,17(KJV)
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

References:

  • King James Version Bible
  • Writings of Henry M Morris
  • Institute for Creation Research
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